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Tomorrow is here again

Anne Wagner: The First Pop Age, 11 October 2012

The First Pop Age 
by Hal Foster.
Princeton, 338 pp., £20.95, October 2011, 978 0 691 15138 0
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... When Hal Foster uses the word ‘first’ in the title of his confidently focused study, he means to start us thinking about Pop now and then. It is a reference to Reyner Banham’s Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960), which argued that modernism’s prewar optimism was over and done. ‘We have already entered the Second Machine Age,’ Banham declared, ‘and can look back on the First … as a period of the past ...

At MoMA

Hal Foster: Sigmar Polke, 19 June 2014

... of Polke; this impressive show is that swing. If Rauschenberg and Johns prepared the way for Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, Polke and Richter quickly adapted American Pop, which they first encountered in magazines, to German ends. In 1963, along with Konrad Lueg (who soon metamorphosed into the gallerist Konrad Fischer), Polke and Richter claimed the ...

Yellow Ribbons

Hal Foster: Kitsch in Bush’s America, 7 July 2005

... is the brandishing of the Ten Commandments at state courthouses. (The main protagonist is Roy Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who was dismissed after he refused to remove his granite decalogue; there are related cases in Texas and Kentucky, due to be heard by the US Supreme Court over the summer.) This act defies the separation ...

Yeats and Violence

Michael Wood: On ‘Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen’, 14 August 2008

... their errors into anything but folly. But why is this? And who are they? They are a class, as Roy Foster says, the old Ascendancy in Ireland. Elsewhere Yeats borrows a phrase from the poem to talk about Lady Gregory, who is said to be ‘indifferent to praise or blame’, a quality attributed to the law that was one of the pretty toys ‘we’ had ...

The Need for Buddies

Roy Porter, 22 June 2000

British Clubs and Societies 1580-1800: The Origins of an Associational World 
by Peter Clark.
Oxford, 516 pp., £60, January 2000, 0 19 820376 4
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... houses for news and ideas, and as vehicles for social contact and cohesion, while helping to foster regional and local identities. By promoting social affiliations, facilitating social networking and defining separate spheres, the club played a crucial part in the making of Britain’s public ...

German Jew

Michael Irwin, 17 April 1980

The Missing Years 
by Walter Laqueur.
Weidenfeld, 281 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 297 77707 6
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Jack be nimble 
by Nigel Williams.
Secker, 213 pp., £5.50, March 1980, 0 436 57155 2
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Identity Papers 
by Anthony Cronin.
Co-op Books, 194 pp., £4.50, February 1980, 0 905441 23 0
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Narrow Rooms 
by James Purdy.
Black Sheep Books, 185 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 906538 60 2
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Six Moral Tales 
by Eric Rohmer, translated by Sabine d’Estrée.
Lorrimer, 252 pp., £4.95, February 1980, 0 85647 075 9
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... notabilities, including James Joyce and Parnell. Thirty years later, long after disowning his foster-parents and losing track of the box, he speaks of the letters to the librarian of the Celtic Library and is offered a substantial sum for them. Desperate for money he forges them, from memory. The fraud is discovered and he is about to stand trial. His one ...

Royalties

John Sutherland, 14 June 1990

CounterBlasts No 10. The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain’s Favourite Fetish 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Chatto, 42 pp., £2.99, January 1990, 0 7011 3555 7
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The Prince 
by Celia Brayfield.
Chatto, 576 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 0 7011 3357 0
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The Maker’s Mark 
by Roy Hattersley.
Macmillan, 558 pp., £13.95, June 1990, 9780333470329
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A Time to Dance 
by Melvyn Bragg.
Hodder, 220 pp., £12.95, June 1990, 0 340 52911 3
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... He was subjected to even more abuse from the British press and public than Nasser or John Foster Dulles. In a widely photographed incident, Altrincham was physically assaulted. His assailant shouted to the pressmen he had summoned to watch: ‘This is for insulting the Queen!’ The papers – except the Times, which on advice from the palace kept a ...

The Sacred Cause of Idiom

Frank Kermode: Lady Gregory, 22 January 2004

Lady Gregory's Toothbrush 
by Colm Tóibín.
Picador, 127 pp., £7.99, September 2003, 0 330 41993 5
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... to Gregory’s powers, and her industry, as a writer. There is inevitably a good deal about her in Roy Foster’s biography of Yeats, but it is, in all its extensive splendour, a book about Yeats, and Gregory can be no more than a secondary character. Tóibín’s is a little book, but it does keep her at its centre, and its gentleness probably reflects ...

Pop Eye

Hal Foster: Handmade Readymades, 22 August 2002

Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art 
by Michael Lobel.
Yale, 196 pp., £35, March 2002, 0 300 08762 4
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... brand of banality, with divisive effects on the art world. In 1960, independently at first, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol had begun to paint cartoons and advertisements drawn from tabloid newspapers of familiar characters and generic products – Popeye and Mickey, tennis shoes and golf balls. When Lichtenstein moved on to comic strips – romance ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Two weeks in Australia, 6 October 1983

... bring it on themselves, with their Barry McKenzies, their Ian Chappells, their self-parodying Foster ads, and so on. And there is the accent: for some reason more readily mimickable than any of our own regional twangs. Theories about the Australian accent are just as snooty as theories about Australia. Some say that it is a form of cell-block ...

Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... authoritative intellectual biography have been persuaded to contribute an epitome here – such as Roy Foster on Yeats or Ray Monk on Bertrand Russell – and some leading literary scholars have similarly written about their favourite critical subjects, such as Christopher Ricks on Tennyson or Marilyn Butler on Jane Austen. There are one or two notable ...

Andy Paperbag

Hal Foster: Andy Warhol, 21 March 2002

Andy Warhol 
by Wayne Koestenbaum.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £12.99, November 2001, 0 297 64630 3
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... of the Skulls – portraits of us all in effect – at the time of his death. Unlike the Pop of Roy Lichtenstein or James Rosenquist, his Pop had teeth, and a great part of its edge lay in its recognition of the deathliness of the mass image. On this score the best remark comes from Deleuze in 1969, in the middle of the Vietnam War, no doubt with Warhol in ...

Which red is the real red?

Hal Foster, 2 December 2021

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror 
Whitney Museum of American Art/Philadelphia Museum of Art, until 13 February 2022Show More
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... into modernist art, in the double sense of the common and the denigrated. A few years later Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol pushed banality further with their borrowings from cartoons and comics, and, along with Rauschenberg, Johns was soon slotted in as a transitional figure between Abstract Expressionism and Pop, an art-historical positioning that ...

Pissing in the Snow

Steven Rose: Dissidents and Scientists, 18 July 2019

Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science 
by Audra J. Wolfe.
Johns Hopkins, 302 pp., £22, January 2019, 978 1 4214 2673 0
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... to The God That Failed, a 1949 book edited by the Labour MP Richard Crossman. He went on to foster a series of CIA-funded seminars, populated by Encounter contributors, in the Austrian ski resort of Alpbach.Koestler’s adventurous past in the Spanish Civil War, along with his explorations of cosmology (The Sleepwalkers) and of the Stalin purges ...

Illuminating, horrible etc

Jenny Turner: David Foster Wallace, 14 April 2011

Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace 
by David Lipsky.
Broadway, 320 pp., $16.99, 9780307592439
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The Pale King: An Unfinished Novel 
by David Foster Wallace.
Hamish Hamilton, 547 pp., £20, April 2011, 978 0 241 14480 0
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... gratifying that people die while watching it, round and round for ever, in an endless loop. David Foster Wallace always had trouble finishing his novels. And yet he put in this one a thought so absorbing and delightful that you could easily imagine yourself, like the rat in the experiment, pressing the lever over and over. ‘Thousands of times an hour,’ as ...

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